Justice Matters initiative evaluated by Newman academic

17/12/2018 by Sinead Staunton

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (CCJS) has today published Downsize, build, transform an evaluation of their Justice Matters project written by Newman Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Dr John Moore.

The Justice Matters project was an attempt to develop a radically different approach to penal reform. Its starting point is that society has become too reliant on criminal justice as the default response to a wide range of social problems. Justice Matters advocates the downsizing of criminal justice whilst simultaneously developing alternative approaches – based on the principles of social justice – which are inclusive and not punitive.

Dr Moore’s evaluation demonstrated that those who participated in workshops run by the project had been positive about the approach and in particularly had welcomed its emphasis on developing social justice solutions to social problems. The report has recommended that as well as continuing to use the Justice Matters toolkit within its work CCJS considers developing partnerships with educators, community and campaigning groups to allow for its methodology to be more widely used.  It also recommends that the resources be made available as an online resource.

Commenting on the evaluation Dr Moore highlighted how ‘the Justice Matters approach provides an opportunity for those of us concerned about social problems to think more creatively.  Very often are first reaction to a problem is to call the police. However, criminal justice responses are frequently inappropriate and do not address the more fundamental issues of ill-health, poverty, discrimination and inequality that characterise most social problems. Justice matters is a highly innovative approach which encourages us to explore the context of social problems and seek out solutions based on social justice.’

Downsize, build and transform can be accessed on the Centre for Crime and Justice website.